Stats Pack: Leigh Centurions
Tonight sees Leeds Rhinos return to Emerald Headingley to take on the newly promoted Leigh Centurions in round 12 of the Betfred Super League, kick off 7:45pm.
Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Kurt Haggerty’s sides.
Team Head to Head
Fresh from their win over Salford, the Rhinos play the first of three league fixtures tonight against the Centurions. Warrington on Monday and Catalans back at Headingley next Friday await Richard Agar’s side, who are sat in a good place in the league with two games in hand, but Leigh are still in search of their first win, despite pushing some teams close already in 2021, notably Wakefield and Wigan.
Specifically in Super League, the two sides have only met five times previously. Leeds have won all of them, including three games in 2005, where the Rhinos amassed 178 points. Mark Calderwood scored seven tries too during that time and currently is the highest scoring Rhinos player against the Centurions. In 2017, Leeds kept up their winning record but not without a fight from the newly promoted side. The sides have also met in the Challenge Cup four times and the Qualifiers once; Leeds still taking the wins on those occasions.
Leigh’s Top Performers
6 Tries (16th in SL)
368 (7th in SL)
16 Offloads (8th in SL)
46 Missed Tackles (1st in SL)
24 (17th in SL)
Key Head to Head
A week after they were both featuring for Tim Sheen’s Combined Nations All Stars team, hookers Kruise Leeming and Nathan Peats are set to go head to head tonight.
Leeming comes into the game off the back of another great performance against Salford. Playing in the halves, he had space to roam, making his highest number of metres this season (81) from seven carries – that’s 12 metres made per carry! He also added two clean breaks, four tackle busts and more importantly, one try and one try assist to cap off his best game of 2021. Against Leigh, Leeming should be back at his more natural position of hooker
Peats was Leigh’s most anticipated signing just before the season started as the hooker bolstered both NRL and State of Origin experience. Nine years in the NRL saw Peats feature for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Parramatta Eels and Gold Coast Titans, as well as represent New South Wales in the 2017 Origin series, before he signed for the Centurions ahead on the eve of the 2021 Super League season. He has formed a formidable partnership with captain and fellow hooker Liam Hood and has so far made 257 tackles, 276 metres and eight runs from dummy half in the nine league games he’s played so far in 2021.
Stats Standout from Round 11: Leeds Rhinos
Since moving to centre to accomodate Jack Broadbent, Tom Briscoe has struck up a fruitful partnership with the young winger over Leeds’ last two Super League fixtures. Focusing particularly on the win over Salford, Briscoe put up some of his best numbers this season throughout the match. He scored his fourth try in three consecutive matches (having scored twice against Castleford and once against Hull FC) and also added two try assists for Broadbent.
Briscoe was also one of eight Leeds players to make over 100 metres against the Red Devils. Only Alex Mellor and Richie Myler, who are both unavailable tonight, made more than the England international and with two clean breaks too, Briscoe moved into joint sixth place in the league for clean breaks, joining Liam Farrell, Jordan Turner and Toby King all on seven. Against the Salford right edge, Briscoe also did well defending the likes of Morgan Escare and Joe Burgess as he completed 14 tackles and only missed two.
Stats Standout from Round 11: Leigh Centurions
Against his former team last time out, winger Matty Russell was Leigh’s top performer, despite the 44-18 scoreline. In attack, he proved to be Leigh’s best player going forward as he made 150 metres and carried the ball 22 times.
To put that into perspective, the next closest Centurions player in those metrics was prop Matty Gee who made 94 metres from eleven carries. Russell also added six tackle busts and three dummy half runs, further emphasising his desire to drive forward, while he was also keen to keep plays going by producing offloads (3). Only loose forward James Bell matched that statistic in the game. As he’ll being going up against the likes of Luke and Tom Briscoe as well as Jack Broadbent, it’s paramount that Leeds are aware of the threat that the Scottish international poses on the front foot.
Luke Briscoe is set to make his 150th career appearance tonight against Leigh. Having played 51 times over three spells at the Rhinos, the winger made most of his appearances over four years for Featherstone (72), as well as 24 for Hunslet on loan and dual registration and two on loan at Wakefield.
So far in 2021, full back Ryan Brierley has scored the most tries for Leigh. Returning to the Centurions on a permanent basis, Brierley has been Leigh’s focal point in attack, scoring six tries. Should he score twice tonight, he will hit 200 career tries, having scored 150 for Leigh, 26 for Toronto, 15 for Huddersfield, four for Hull KR and three for Scotland.